FeedDemon and Podcasting, PII

Sorry for the light blogging week, but I’ve been in what my wife refers to as “mad scientist mode” working on the final build of TopStyle Pro 3.11 as well as FeedDemon’s upcoming podcasting support.

Last night I wanted to test FeedDemon’s podcasting code, and while it’s still very rough around the edges, it worked. I told FeedDemon to automatically download enclosures from ITConversations, and configured it to perform the download at 3AM and then sync with my iPod mini. When I woke up this morning, my iPod mini showed a new “FeedDemon Podcasts” playlist, so I disconnected it and brought it with me when I drove my 5yr-old son to school.

I was going to listen to it as we drove, but my son and I got involved in a great round of fart jokes, and let’s face it, those are special times. But on the way back, I donned the headphones and listened to the downloaded MP3s. For me, that was an “Aha!” moment. I didn’t care what was on the radio – I had already chosen what to hear, and it wasn’t something from Clear Channel.

Whenever I have an “Aha!” moment, I’m reminded of my first big web-related “Aha!” moment. Years ago I was a struggling cartoonist, and I desperately wanted to get my work syndicated. The publishers, however, apparently didn’t feel my comics served the right demographic, so I decided to publish them myself on the web. The day I uploaded my comic strip site and viewed it in Netscape’s browser, I had a huge “Aha!” moment. Even though the number of people reading my comics was small, I could still self-publish them – cheaply – and skip the traditional publishing route. I wasn’t out to make money: I just wanted exposure.

I had a similar moment with RSS last year, which led to the creation of FeedDemon. And now I was having one with podcasting.

Now, we’re still in the very early stages of podcasting (which, btw, needs a better name), but I can see how powerful the idea is. Thanks to my first “Aha!” moment with the web, I get a charge out of any new idea which enables creative people to self-publish their work. For podcasting to move forward, though, we really need:

  • Better tools for automating enclosure downloads and syncing them with an iPod or other media device
  • Better aggregated feeds which contain enclosures

Hopefully I’m helping with the first item, and I’m betting other RSS readers will do the same. But the second item is barely being addressed, IMO. Yes, we have feeds which collect the latest enclosures, but so far I haven’t seen any which let you really define what you want to download. For example, how about a service which finds the latest enclosures about a specific topic, such as the recent US election? Or one that finds the latest MP3s from your favorite musical style? Just subscribe to a “punk rock” feed, and the service collects the latest audio enclosures from any punk band – including ones you’ve never heard of.

As Marc Canter points out, a big part of the problem is the lack of metadata accompanying enclosures. But while I agree that metadata is important, it’s still possible for a search engine to look for keywords in the description of any RSS item that contains an enclosure. Feedster has been working along these lines already with their Feedster.TV site. Is anyone else working on this?

20 thoughts on “FeedDemon and Podcasting, PII

  1. FeedDemon and Podcasting, PII

    FeedDemon and Podcasting, PII Sorry for the light blogging week, but I’ve been in what my wife refers to as “mad scientist mode” working on the final build of TopStyle Pro 3.11 as well as FeedDemon’s upcoming podcasting support. Last…

  2. First of all I would love to hear some of those fart jokes.
    Second of all I’m very excited to see PodCasting in FeedDemon. Keep up the good work.

  3. Probably not the 1st time that fart jokes in an enclosed vehicle led to an “aha” moment :)

  4. Lance, I think BitTorrent enclosures are a good idea. I worry, of course, that this will become yet another way to pirate software and music, but since piracy isn’t the only use for BitTorrent, I have nothing against the idea.

  5. Nick, if you have any more Aha moments that you don’t have time to produce, please send them to me.

  6. I’d be interested to see some BitTorrent support. I am reminded of all the recent complaining regarding RSS and the bandwidth usage it may or may not cause. What will happen if 5000 subscribe to your Podcast and you are sending out 10-20 meg files every 15 minutes? Imagine the bandwidth horrors that will happen then.

  7. Podcatching inside FeedDemon

    Nick is planning to introduce podcatching support into FeedDemon after being introduced to the new craze while at Gnomedex, and is already testing a working version of his Podcatching enabled FeedDemon!
    By the way, I think we should start differenti…

  8. Time Management vs. Progress

    I had a hard time thinking up a title for this article, mostly because it’s philosophical rather than being practicle. I’ve identified a trend, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but I think it will change the way that companies deal with adverti…

  9. Nick,
    This is great news. My progression in getting the podcasts on my Dell DJ has been interesting. I started out with iPodder. Not bad, but sort of stupid manual nature. I poked around and found Doppler. Doppler kept a history of stuff, and it ran minimized. It also let me know of downloads. Great! My problem has been the use of a separate application.
    With you adding this support, I am incredibly happy. I could have all my podcasts download to one folder. I could then tell Dudebox explorer to synchronize this folder and my Dell DJ. I like this. No need for multiple applications, and I already run FeedDemon in the background.
    Any help I can offer as a beta-tester, I would be glad to assist.

  10. Although I don’t have an iPod, I’m still interested in enclosures. But I have a request (whcih you very likely already have covered): I would like to have control over scheduling the enclosure downloads. I have a slow dial-up connection at home, but a nice unsaturated T1 at work, so I want to make sure that I have control over when the downloads take place. The controls should at least based on time of day, but it would be cool if I had the option to make a rule based on the network I’m on (something similar to what can be done using Proxy Auto Config files).

  11. Dave, FeedDemon will enable you schedule downloads based on time of day, but it won’t have rule-based downloading related to the network your on.

  12. The podcasting additions in FeedDemon sound great.
    One request I have, though is to ask is it possible to create seperate playlists (based on where the podcast is coming from) rather than one playlist called “FeedDemon Podcasts”?
    For example, I am currently using the “Now Playing” plug in for iTunes http://brandon.fuller.name/archives/hacks/nowplaying/, which downloads seperate playlists to my iPod based on where the content is coming from. So I have a playlist for the Engadet podcasts, the Daily Source Code podcasts etc..
    From what I can see, FeedDemon will combine all these podcasts into one playlist. Am I missing the point here, or will it be possible to seperate playlists similar to how the “Now Playing” plug in does?

  13. About me (seriously)

    I post a lot of my weird wacky humor, but haven’t actually posted any useful or real information about who I am. So in this post I shall try to keep these answers as truthful and serious as possible. Okay, so the serious part is a stretch, but at le…

  14. ITV – Finally (aka Rich Media Apps in XML)

    The pieces of next-generation TV and radio are all coming together semi-quietly in the now geeky world of copyleft and RSS enclosures. If SBC decides to drive usage of its forthcoming IPTV offer using this kind of developer toolkit in addition to Micro…

  15. FeedDemon and Podcasting – Part 2

    In a previous post, I linked to Nick Bradbury’s blog and his post about FeedDemon and Podcasting. Now, a few days later, Nick has a follow-up post that explains his thoughts on Podcasting and its future. I was going to listen to it as we drove, but my …

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